Family gatherings are those moments where we meet with our family members like reunions, weddings, birthday parties or sometimes, just those usual moments where we eat together during dinnertime. For such moments, it would be good to have a wonderful dinner ready for your family. Here are a list of simple and easy dinner recipes for family gatherings that would make you a supermom or a super parent.

Meat and Vegetable Spring Rolls

This is a combination of meat with vegetables wrapped together into a roll. This can also be cooked by vegans if they substitute the meat with tofu. It’s very easy to prepare and cook.

Utensils needed:

  • Skillet or Frying Pan
  • Chef’s Knife and Cleaver
  • Chopping board
  • Wooden Spoon
  • 1 regular Spoon

Ingredients:

2 Stalks celery, chopped

3-4 Carrots, diced into small pieces

1 Chinese Cabbage, chopped into thin strips

1/2 kg Ground Pork/Ground Beef

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

1 1/2 heads of garlic finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Pack Shanghai Wrapper

2-3 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

The Stuffing

  1. In a large pan, put 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and saute the garlic and onions. After 10-15 seconds, add in the ground pork, celery and carrots and let it cook for 3 – 5 minutes while occasionally mixing them.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as the chinese cabbage and let it cook for 5 – 8 minutes.
  3. Once everything is cooked and well mixed, turn off the heat and set it aside. Let it cool for about 1 minute.

The Rolls

  1. Separate the sheets of the shanghai wrappers carefully.
  2. Put 1 or 2 tbsp of the stuffing at the center and fold the wrapper from the bottom at least 1/2 inch over the stuffing.
  3. Fold the sides of the wrapper and then from the bottom, roll it and then seal it with a bit of water and set aside.
  4. Repeat Steps 1 – 3 for the rolls until all wrappers used.
  5. You can fry the rolls 30 minutes before you eat dinner with your family. Serve with tomato catsup mixed with mayonnaise or you can also serve it with vinegar as a dip.

Tips:

  • This dish is best served with rice, mashed potatoes or cream of corn soup.
  • If there’s still some stuffing left, you can keep it in the fridge for about 3-4 days or you can reheat it and use it to cook fried rice.
  • You can also use sweet and sour sauce as dip if you don’t like ketchup or vinegar.

Banana Peel Burger Steak

Have you ever heard of burger patties made with banana peel? If you haven’t then this is an opportunity for you. This is a healthy snack that’s good for dinner. And what better way to serve this than with mushroom gravy sauce that’s oozing with flavor!

Utensils Needed:

Ingredients:

Patty

3-5 Bananas

1 Onion, finely chopped

5 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 Egg

5 tbsp All purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Gravy

4 tbsp Butter

1 1/2 cup of thinly sliced Button Mushrooms

4 spoonfuls of Instant Gravy Powder (1 cup’s worth)

1/4 cup of Cream

Directions:

Burger Patty

  1. Peel 3-5 bananas. Separate the bananas and the peelings. Remove the topmost part of the peelings where the stem is usually attached and clean them by washing them or giving them a gentle scrub with a sponge (without soap).
  2. Boil the peelings in a pot for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once boiled, remove each peeling from the hot water and finely chop the peelings and then put them in a bowl.
  4. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and egg. Mix them well together with the chopped peelings and then add 5 tbsp of all purpose flour with some salt and pepper.
  5. Mix everything well and then form pieces of patties.
  6. Once you have the patties ready, in a large frying pan, put about 5 tbsp of cooking oil and fry them until brown and set aside.

Mushroom Gravy

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, or if it’s already melted, pour it in the pot and then add the mushrooms. Let it cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms sweat out and get immersed in the butter.
  2. While you’re cooking the mushrooms, prepare the gravy by mixing the instant gravy powder with 1 cup of hot water and then mix.
  3. Pour the gravy mix onto the mushrooms and add 1/4 cup of cream.
  4. Bring to a boil while stirring well as the sauce thickens.
  5. Remove from the heat and set aside to let it cool for a bit.
  6. Serve them on a plate. Put 1 or 2 patties and pour some mushroom gravy on top of the patties. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • If you don’t have steamed vegetables, you can partner it with mashed potatoes as it also goes well with mushroom gravy
  • Best served with crusty bread, fluffy rice or steamed vegetables

Chicken and Drumstick Tree Soup

Drumstick tree leaves are very healthy and tasty. They go well with this chicken soup and they give a wonderful flavor that you would want your family to experience.

Utensils Needed:

  • Cooking Pot
  • Ladle or Wooden Spoon
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Chopping Board

Ingredients:

5 Pre-cut Chicken Legs

5 Pre-cut Chicken thighs

2 Chicken stock Cubes

1-2 ears of Ginger, peeled and cut into chunks

1 Handful of Whole Black Pepper

2 cups Green Papaya cut in 2-inch lengths

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 cup Chili leaves

1 cup Drumstick tree leaves

5 cups of water

Salt

1/2 tbsp Cooking oil/Olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a cooking pot, heat 1/2 tbsp of cooking oil and fry the onions, garlic, ginger and chicken. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is light brown.
  2. Add the 5 cups of water and then the black pepper and the chicken stock cubes. Stir the mixture and keep under low-medium heat and bring it to a boil.
  3.  Add the green papaya and let it simmer for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the papaya is soft.
  4. Season with salt to taste and give it a quick stir.
  5. Add the drumstick tree leaves and the chili leaves before removing it from the fire.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips:

  • If you can’t find pre-cut chicken legs and thighs, you can cut them yourself into serving pieces.
  • If you can’t find chicken stock cubes, you can use 1 cup of chicken stock and then 4 cups of water
  • You can use chayote instead of green papaya.

Spicy Coconut Milk and Pork Stew

Who knew that pork meat and coconut milk could be combined to create a very delicious dish? Well if you didn’t know that then I encourage you to try. The spicy flavor from the peppers make it a very appetizing and energizing food to eat, especially with bread or rice.

Utensils Needed:

  • Cooking pot
  • Ladle or Wooden Spoon
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Chopping Board

Ingredients:

1kg Pork meat cut into bite size pieces

1/2 cup finger chili, chopped

1/2 cup cayenne pepper, chopped (Optional)

1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

Salt

Ground black pepper

3-4 cups of water

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

Slurry – 1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water

2-3 tbsp of Olive oil/Cooking oil

Directions:

  1. In a cooking pot, heat 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil and once it’s hot enough, put in the garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent or aromatic.
  2. Sprinkle some ground black pepper (about 1 – 2 tsp) in the pot with the garlic and onions and stir for about 5 seconds.
  3. Add the pork meat with 3-4 cups of water. Cover it with a lid and bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until the meat are light brown in color and a bit tender.
  4. Add the finger chili and cayenne peppers. Give it another stir and add the 1 1/2 cup of coconut milk and give it a quick stir and add some salt to your desired taste. By this time the mixture should have thickened and if you want it to thicken more, you can add the slurry and mix it well.
  5. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips:

  • You can use fish sauce in place of salt.
  • Since this is a spicy dish, you can serve it with some fluffy rice or some quinoa.

Sauteed Coconut Noodles

Aside from the regular pasta and noodles, there’s another noodle recipe that’s twice as healthy and that would be the sauteed coconut noodles. The noodles are from fresh, young coconut meat and are very delicious. Give this one a try and I’m sure your family will love it!

Utensils needed:

Coconut Hand grater

Cleaver

Chopping Board

Large Skillet or Frying pan

Spatula

Fork Ladle

Ingredients:

Young Coconuts (2-3 makes about 4-5 servings)

1 tsp garlic, minced

2 tbsp shallots, sliced

1 cup coconut water

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp green onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp cooking oil/olive oil

2 Medium-sized carrots, julienned

2 Red/Green Bell peppers, julienned

1 cup Cabbage leaves, julienned

1/4 kg prawns

1/4 cup of Sprite

Directions:

Preparing the Coconut Meat

  1. If the coconuts were not yet opened, using the cleaver cut the coconut open and save the coconut water in a bowl or large cup.
  2. Using the coconut hand grater, grate the coconut meat from inside the young coconuts so they form noodles. Set them aside in a bowl and put a cover over them if you won’t cook them immediately or while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cooking the Noodles:

  1. Marinade the prawns in Sprite.
  2. On a skillet, heat 3-4 tbsp of olive oil or cooking oil. Once it starts to bubble, put in the garlic and onions and stir fry for 10 seconds.
  3. Add the bell peppers and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the Sprite-marinated prawns and stir fry until the prawns turn into an orange color. Add the cabbage leaves and then the grated coconut meat. Stir fry for 10 seconds then pour 1 cup of coconut water.
  5. Continue to stir fry and toss the vegetables while mixing it with the coconut meat as noodles. Re-season with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with green onions then serve and enjoy!

Tips:

  • You can also add sliced pieces of squid aside from the prawns.
  • You can also add string beans or snow peas.

Benefits of Eating Together with Your Family

Why is it important to spend time with your family? Or why is it important to eat meals together? The answer is because the family is the central unit of society where everything starts. From infancy to adulthood, a person starts everything with their family and that is the initial environment and a continuing opportunity for couples to improve with their parenting practices. Here are a few benefits of eating together with your family.

●    Family Bonds Are Strengthened

When the family dines together, it creates an atmosphere of love and unity that builds the family and allows each to be closer to one another. When the children tell stories of how their day had been or things that happened that they would like clarity on or ask for advice. No family is perfect but every moment spent with your family is a treasure that can never be replaced, sold or bought.

●    Better Academic Performance of Children

When children and parents spend time together, especially during meals, they build their cognitive thinking and are able to practice their communication skills which helps them perform better in school and be able to socialize and be the best they could be.

●    Greater Strength of Character

Family dinners give an opportunity for siblings to be used to having each other’s company and this builds their strength of character especially when it comes to successes and failures that they share with one another and with parents being there for them.

●    Children Grow Healthier and learn to eat Vegetables

The meals eaten together with the family would help in getting the comments and suggestions from your spouse and children about the food they would like to eat and can also encourage them to try new things. You can serve them meals that help them eat healthy. There are a lot of vegetable meals that are good for growing children and they would love it once they get used to it. It’s a matter of being creative.

●    Children are Less Likely to be Depressed

Since parents and children eat together, they can gain moral support from their siblings and parents about certain goals they would want to achieve and to have shoulders to cry on with every challenge they face in their lives while they are young. Dealing with teenagers is difficult but if you start early, they would be able to open up to their parents better.

Dinnertime Meals

DInnertime should not be composed of heavy meals as this is usually the time that we eat before we sleep. It should be full of nutrients that would help us face tomorrow. It is imperative that we help create an environment for us to be able to spend time with our family and to be creative in cooking dishes that would provide a good reason for the family to enjoy their time together. I hope these 5 simple recipes would help you in creating such an atmosphere. Happy cooking!

Author Bio: 

EL Mehdi Zefzoufi is the founder of Desired Cuisine, a community geared towards sharing insights and interests regarding kitchen and dining ideas around the world. Our goal is to make the world a better place through sharing our ideas on how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle by offering helpful tips and recipes and also by giving a list of products that are safe and are of good quality.

Anna Jones
Anna Jones

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